škoda 2024

First Danish "EC-vognstamme" unveiled

updated on 1st Feb 2024 08:00 posted on 28th Jan 2024 18:05

On 25 January 2024 DSB unveiled the first of the Talgo 230 non-traction multiple units (NMUs) for its long-distance fleet. During a press event held in København, the company announced the official start of the dynamic testing phase of the "EC-vognstamme“ (EC rakes of cars) which will operate on the København - Hamburg and Aarhus - Hamburg lines and potentially other international as well as domestic routes. 

The 15-car EC rakes with a design speed of 230 km/h will have an operating speed of only 200 km/h and in the first phase will be formed by cars (EC-vogne) of six types:
- two Class Bpd end cars, each with flex-space (fleksrum) with 36 second class seats, 11 folding seats, spaces for prams and bikes, and with the service compartment,
- one Class Bph car for passengers with reduced mobility with three PRM spaces, one PRM toilet, 10 conventional seats and two vending machines,
- five Class Bpt cars, each with 32 second class seats and two toilets,
- five Class Bp cars, each with 40 second class seats, without toilets,
- one Class Apt car with 22 first class seats and two toilets,
- one Class Ap car with 28 first class seats, withou toilets.

Each 209 m long NMU will be formed as follows: Bpd + Apt + Ap + Bph + Bp + Bpt + Bp + Bpt + Bp + Bpt + Bp + Bpt + Bp + Bpt + Bpd. These rakes are envisaged to be sandwiched between two Class EB Vectrons. In a second phase, a driving trailer (styrevogn) will be added to each train to create a push-pull train.

The first train, designated EC 0401, is formed by cars: 
Bpd 73 86 82-93 101-4 DK-DSB,
Apt 73 86 81-93 601-4 DK-DSB,
Ap 73 86 81-93 901-8 DK-DSB,
Bph 73 86 82-93 401-8 DK-DSB,
Bp 73 86 82-93 318-4 DK-DSB,
Bpt 73 86 82-93 201-2 DK-DSB,
Bp 73 86 82-93 319-2 DK-DSB,
Bpt 73 86 82-93 202-0 DK-DSB,
Bp 73 86 82-93 320-0 DK-DSB,
Bpt 73 86 82-93 203-8 DK-DSB,
Bp 73 86 82-93 321-8 DK-DSB,
Bpt 73 86 82-93 204-6 DK-DSB,
Bp 73 86 82-93 322-6 DK-DSB,
Bpt 73 86 82-93 205-3 DK-DSB,
Bpd 73 86 82-93 102-2 DK-DSB.

The first unit left Talgo‘s Rivabellosa works on 12 December 2023 and was transported via Irún to Denmark, arriving in Padborg on the morning of 21 December. It was then moved to the DB Cargo terminal in Taulov, where it waited until 5 January 2024 for the last part of its journey to København, to the Kastrup depot.

It is envisaged that the new Talgo-built EC trains will enter commercial service in autumn 2024, once Talgo receives the approvals (which is, however, a very ambitious goal, and the question is how realistic...). The first eight 15-car rakes are expected to be delivered in 2024, with a further eight to be delivered in 2026 - 27, including 16 driving trailers. However, these will initially operate as regular passenger cars; they should start operating as driving trailers later, probably in 2028 (similar to the current nightjet/Viaggio N non-traction multiple units).

History of the contract

In February 2020 DSB awarded Talgo a framework contract worth 500 million EUR which included a first firm order of 134 million EUR for the supply of eight Talgo 230 trains. In April 2021, in light of the new demand for international rail travel, DSB decided to increase the fleet size with a second order for additional coaches "which raised the passenger capacity of the eight initial trains by 10 %", to 492 seats each. 

Then in April 2023 operator placed a third order, for eight additional trains and worth 184 million EUR, including 16 driving trailers for all NMUs. DSB has thus abandoned its original intention to haul the Talgo rakes with two very powerful Vectron locomotives, which made no sense economically and environmentally, although it was already clear with DB's 2019 order for Talgo 230s that the driving trailers could be produced.

Once in service, the non-motorised Talgo units will replace the current trains made up of conventional DB's IC1 cars and hauled by DSB‘s Vectron, which replaced the DSB‘s IC3 DMUs on the København - Hamburg route last June as the Talgo project is delayed.

We asked DSB the following questions:

1) The framework contract of February 2020 allows for the acquisition of how many Talgo cars or sets in total?
DSB replied to us: "We do not think we have disclosed that."

2) The first eight Talgo 230 sets ordered in February 2020 were the 13-car rakes?
DSB replied to us: "Yes."

3) The April 2021 contract entailed ordering of one pair of Class Bp + Bpt cars for each of the eight rakes ordered so far?
DSB replied to us: "We cannot answer that."

4) When the first EC trainsets enter service (this year) will they be hauled by one or two Vectrons?
"We expect they will be hauled by two Vectron locomotives."

5) If a driving trailer is later added to each of the 15-car Talgo rakes, what happens to one of the two Class Bpd end cars from each train, which will become superfluous? Will these 16 new cars be withdrawn from service? Because it is not possible to couple a driving trailer with its low-floor section to a Bpd end car that has a high-floor section on the outside end. Or will the second batch be delivered already with one driving trailer and one Class Bpd end car, or with two driving trailers only, to have the latter for all units? 
"The second batch of eight rakes comes with 16 driving trailers which will be distributed among all 16 rakes, so in the end all 16 units will have one end car and one driving trailer."

6) Does DSB really believe that the authorisation of a completely new type of train will be completed this year when the tests in Denmark only started in January? Moreover, the trains are to be approved not only in Denmark, but also in Germany, and there was already a problem in 2015 on the DB Netz (now DB InfraGo) network with the authorisation of the RZD‘s Talgo Strizh trains to run to Berlin... After all, even the similar DB‘s ICE-L trains are not yet homologated for operation in Germany, where testing started in summer 2023.
"We do not want to comment on these speculations."

7) For what reason are the Talgo 230 units (with a maximum speed of 230 km/h) for DSB limited to 200 km/h only? Is it because the Class EB Vectrons also have a top speed of only 200 km/h?
"Yes. And please understand that in the future we cannot commit this many resources in answering questions from Railvolution.net. For further comments please see our press release (in Danish) published here".


An overview of the most important steps in the renewal of DSB fleet: 

2018 - DSB orders the first 26 Vectrons (Class EB) from Siemens with an option for 16 more locomotives,
2019 - option for eight Vectrons was taken,
2020 - delivery of the first three locomotives in September and their entry into service with passengers in October,
2022 - delivery of the entire batch of 42 Class EB Vectrons completed.

2021 - April, DSB orders 100 Coradia Stream EMUs from Alstom, designated as IC5 by the operator (following on from the earlier ABB/ADtranz/Bombardier Class IC3 DMUs and Ansaldobreda-built Class IC4 DMUs),
2023 - November, the design of IC5 is completed and production starts (bodyshells at Chorzów and final assembly at Salzgitter),
2025 - first IC5 EMU expected to arrive in Denmark,
2027 - IC5 to start passenger service (one and a half years later than planned).

2023 - DSB launches tender for fully automated S-tog trains,
2030 - first fully automated S-tog trains envisaged to start operation.

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